Stewardship Resource

100 Thing Challenge

Link  Link
  • Author: David Michael Bruno
  • Updated: 02/09/2009
  • Copyright: David Michael Bruno

The 100 Thing Challenge is my little way to personalize my efforts to fight consumerism.

What's behind it? My belief that material possessions can be good when they serve a greater purpose than possession alone. We should make better use of our things than just owning them. My hope is that by living a year with 100 personal things, I'll be able to show that an average American guy does not need tons of stuff to live the good life. And also I hope to shed some light on the nature of consumerism in our culture. Thanks for following along!


100 Thing Challenge

The 100 Thing Challenge is my little way to personalize my efforts to fight consumerism.

That said, a lot of other people are participating, too.  I'll be working on ways for people to connect.  For now, Rob created a Facebook group that is worth joining.

Goal: By November 12, 2008 I will only have 100 personal things.  I will live with only 100 personal things for one full year, until November 12, 2009.

Rules: Remember, this is my 100 Thing Challenge.  I get to set the rules and decide when a rule can be stretched or outright broken.  Basically I'm going by the spirit of the challenge not the letter of the challenge.

"Personal Things" means things that are entirely or mostly mine.  Clearly family-shared and household things (e.g. dining room table, piano, bed, plates, etc.) are not considered a personal thing.  Right now my wife and daughters are curious about what I'm up to, but they prefer to observe rather than participate.

Memorabilia - I was going to keep a small box of memorabilia. But it turned out that I don't have much. So I'm ditching this idea and just counting a few things.

Books - Ah, here's the rub.  We're avid readers in our home.  And even the books I don't read thrice a year look so very attractive as they collect dust on the bookshelves.  And many of my books are kind of work related. Strange as it sounds, I have a lot of history books that relate directly or indirectly to consumerism, and thus help me with the 100 Thing Challenge.

A few items are counted in groups.  This includes underwear and socks.  I'm not keeping a lot of either.  We do, though, run a household.  The idea of trying to manage laundry with a few pairs of skivvies and socks is both unrealistic and gross.

We are keeping some household tools: hammer, screwdriver, tape measure, etc. Just last week I needed some tools to put up my daughter's gymnastics bar. I'm not using them for anything more than honey-do projects.

I've left myself some cushion in case I receive a gift or two over the next year. But hopefully everyone who might give me a gift knows that they shouldn't! Anyway, once I receive a gift, I have 7 days to figure out what to do with it before it counts toward my 100 Thing Challenge. I figure that should be enough time to either graciously lose it or get rid of some other thing.

Finally, I can get new things. But I have to always remain under 100 things total. And also if I am "replacing" something, I have to get rid of the original thing first before I get the new thing.


For learn more about the challenge, go to 100 Thing Challenge

Find More Stewardship Resources